Friday, October 29, 2004

Lame Duck Air

Tonight was our very first flight on "Lame Duck Air," my husband's new name for ATA. It's odd to fly an airline that is waiting to leave the city as soon as the bankruptcy court will let them bail. They have no commitment to Chicago anymore; they're just biding their time until Air Tran or America West swoops in to pick the carcass.

Thankfully, everything went smoothly. I can only imagine the apathy if I had any sort of a problem. Last time my seats were erroneously given away on the Chicago leg of a trip, the gate agent got really snotty. She refused to rectify the error, and when I told her that we are Elite members who are supposed to be entitled to "preferred, front-of-the-aircraft seating" (that's a direct quote from the ATA website), she acted as though I'd told her that her mother is a syphillis-ridden streetwalker. This was a few months back, although who knows...maybe she knew what was coming.

Anyway, we still made it home to Florida safe and sound, and even a few minutes early. Better yet, when I went down to Avis to pick up our car (an economy model, booked through Priceline), they upgraded us to a Tracker for free! I always get very excited when we get an SUV because I love to go biking at Fort Wilderness. There's no way to fit our bikes into the micro-vehicles that normally pass for economy or compact. But every now and then we get a free upgrade to a much larger vehicle, and when we do, we load up the bikes and head for Disney World. We typically pedal around the campground and then ride over to the Wilderness Lodge for lunch at Whispering Canyon Cafe.

We drove home, passing the pumpkin carving event at the church on Celebration Avenue. All of the kids seemed to be having a blast. As soon as I got inside, I anxiously tried the phone to see if my new 566 line was functional. Indeed it was, so now I have my phone number that is the same as my address. Crazy, I know, but I'm easily amused.

After settling in, we headed over to Kobe Japanese Steakhouse for dinner. I am a big fan of teppan style cooking. There are lots of teppan choices in the Kissimmee area, but Kobe is far and away my favorite. Their filet will melt in your mouth, and they have the most amazing teryaki noodles. You will never leave hungry, as the multi-course meal includes the noodles, soup, salad, vegetables, and fried rice, in addition to the main course. Kobe always runs coupons in the various tourist publications available at virtually any store in the great Orlando/Kissimmee area, so you're crazy if you pay full price.

Ironically, we never even realized that there is a Kobe location literally right across the street from Celebration, in the strip mall across from the Radisson Hotel. In the old days, when we were tourists, we usually went to the location on International Drive. We knew there were lots of locations, so my husband started thumbing through a coupon book and discovered that we were only minutes away from a delicious Kobe meal.

Now it's bedtime, and as much as I'd like to stay up and read, I have to force myself to sleep because we're getting up early tomorrow. We're going to meet our real estate agents for breakfast downtown (chocolate chip pancakes....mmmmmm!). Even though we closed more than a year ago, they are neighbors as well as our agents (they live in East Village too), and we keep in touch.

After that, it's off to Fort Wilderness to work off the pancakes and enjoy the perfect weather day predicted by channel 9.

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